Contrary to prior reports, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey does not intend in trading point guard Chris Paul, but rather add yet another star to play alongside him and franchise star James Harden.
The recently-extended executive told Sean Salisbury of SportsTalk 790 radio that he plans to add “one more star” to the team instead of trading Paul this offseason.
.@SeanUnfiltered: "Does Chris Paul want to be traded?"@dmorey: "No, Chris Paul does not want to be traded."@SeanUnfiltered: "Will you field calls on Chris Paul?"@dmorey: "No, we want to add one more star to this team."
— SportsTalk 790 (@SportsTalk790) June 17, 2019
This is the same aggressive posturing that Morey had last offseason when the Rockets chased after Carmelo Anthony under a veteran's minimum contract. That dream only lived for 10 games before the perennial All-Star was exiled until mid-season before he was traded to the Chicago Bulls.
Yet adding another star on top of Paul and Harden would be luxury tax insanity for a roster that has already proved unable to coexist, let alone put itself in a championship-contending level.
The Rockets committed $448.5 million over the next four to five seasons to the trio of Harden, Paul, and Clint Capela — who earned $81.36 million of Houston's $156.5 million payroll to begin the 2018-19 season.
To avoid skyrocketing into the luxury tax, the Rockets would be forced to give up some of their most valuable commodities in Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker and Austin Rivers — unable to pay them if Morey indeed takes a shot at adding a top-of-the-line free agent.
Houston has been willing to spend if it will translate to winning, but the organization is already deeply regretting doling out $160 million over four years to Paul, who already looked like a shell of his former self throughout the course of the season.